For Immediate Release
November 17, 2023
MCTXSheriff Makes First Arrest for Fentanyl Murder Offense
On October 18, 2023, members of the Montgomery County Narcotics Enforcement Team (MOCONET) responded to a residence on Magnolia Reserve Loop in Montgomery County to assist with investigating an unattended death. A 34-year-old male was found deceased on location. Evidence located on the scene indicated that the male may have overdosed from the use of illicit narcotics. Results of an autopsy later confirmed that the male died of the toxic effects of Fentanyl.
As a result of the subsequent investigation conducted by MOCONET, the individual responsible for providing the Fentanyl to the decedent was identified. An arrest warrant for that individual, identified as James Carter-Smith, Jr, was obtained. On November 17, 2023, Carter-Smith Jr. was arrested by members of the U.S. Marshal’s Gulf Coast Violent Offenders Task Force in Houston, TX. Carter-Smith Jr. is charged with Murder for supplying Fentanyl that resulted in the death of the Montgomery County resident. Carter-Smith Jr., was transported to the Montgomery County Jail, where he is being held on no bond due to the nature of the charge and his criminal history.
Beginning in 2019, MOCONET, along with Houston High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), began working to address the trafficking of Fentanyl and its correlation with overdose deaths in Montgomery County. As of September 1, 2023, the 88th Regular Session of the Texas Legislator passed House Bill 6, which states that a person can be charged with “Fentanyl Murder” if they supply or distribute Fentanyl and it leads to death. With the recent change, MOCONET has been able to file this charge with the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office.
A number of agencies assisted with this investigation. These agencies included Homeland Security Investigations, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.
The Montgomery County Narcotics Enforcement Team (MOCONET) is a Houston High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force that includes the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office, Montgomery County District Attorney's Office, Walker County Sheriff's Office, Walker County District Attorney's Office, Homeland Security Investigations, and Texas Department of Public Safety.
Sheriff Rand Henderson: “The level of impact and devastation that Fentanyl has had on our community and our nation is unacceptable. I am proud of the work and dedication that The Montgomery County Narcotics Enforcement Team has shown throughout this investigation in bringing criminals like this to justice. Our priority as a Law Enforcement Agency has always been the safety and well-being of our citizens. Our hearts are broken with the families of all those who have lost their lives due to this poison. We will not allow these narcotics, which have become a weapon of mass destruction, to continue being a scourge on our population. This arrest and the new law are vital steps in protecting our community and letting criminals know that these acts will not go unpunished.”
“The FBI regularly assists our local law enforcement partners with a range of resources and capabilities. In this case, FBI Houston provided the skills and expertise of our Violent Crime Task Force and cellular analysis resources which led to the location of Carter-Smith, Jr,” said David Martinez, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Houston field office. “Whatever the FBI can bring to the table so that we can jointly continue to disrupt and root out violent criminals within our neighborhoods, we’ll do.”
Specialist Caleb Cole
Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office
Administrative Services Division